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How to screen mirror or cast to a TV with a VPN

Stream VPN content on your big screen

Known as casting, mirroring, or by trademarked names like AirPlay, it all boils down to this: technology that lets you take images on your small-screen device and stream them wirelessly on your big-screen TV. This guide will show you how to get the content you have, on the screen you want—easily and with little or no extra setup or equipment.

Casting from a mobile device to a TV with a VPN.

Mirroring vs. casting

Mirroring means projecting an exact copy of your small-screen device’s display on a big screen. Anything that you see on your device—toolbars, time and date, battery usage, etc.—will be presented on the TV, and usually, the device must be dedicated to that stream, with its screen active, and doing nothing else. There may also be a small lag between what you see on your device and what appears on your TV. If these limitations are not a problem for you, mirroring is most likely to work without a hitch. 

Casting, on the other hand, is a feature built in to many apps and operating systems that will allow you to project a stream while the device can still be used for something else, or even put to sleep. Image quality and speed may be better than with mirroring. But this functionality is not present for all apps and on all devices, and in a few cases, it may be actively disabled by the app maker or device manufacturer for business reasons.

AirPlay logo.

AirPlay

Perhaps the best known of these technologies, Apple’s AirPlay allows both mirroring and casting. It’s available on Apple devices (like Mac computers and iPhones and iPads running iOS), but also on apps like iTunes, so it can be used by Windows users as well. (Android users will need third-party software to use AirPlay.) Originally, you could AirPlay only to an Apple TV, but non-Apple smart TVs and other devices are increasingly being released with the ability to receive AirPlay signals built in.

Chromecast logo.

Chromecast

A dongle that you plug into your TV, Google’s Chromecast is the most basic casting device—in a good way. Just set up a movie, game, song, or other media on your mobile device, tap a button, and it will cast to your TV. There’s no TV interface or remote control to deal with. Because any Android or iOS mobile app can be easily set up with the Chromecast casting ability by its developer, the number of compatible apps has grown fast. Chromecast also offers mirroring from Android and Windows devices. For higher resolutions and more advanced color technologies, opt for the Chromecast Ultra.

Learn about mirroring with ExpressVPN and Chromecast.

Roku logo.

Roku

With a huge number of compatible apps, Roku is one of the most powerful and affordable streaming devices. It comes as a box or a dongle that plugs into your TV’s HDMI port. Screens on Android and Windows devices can be mirrored to your TV via a Roku. If you’re watching content on an Android, Windows, or iOS device, you may be able to cast the program to the same app on Roku, if they’re compatible.

Learn about mirroring with ExpressVPN and Roku.

Amazon Fire TV logo.

Fire TV

Amazon’s Fire TV devices—including Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Cube—let you enjoy videos, music, games, and more through thousands of apps. Fire TV Stick supports screen mirroring from most Android devices. Users must first activate mirroring on Fire TV Stick, then activate their Android device’s mirroring function (if available), which is often called Miracast—but terminology varies across devices. Windows 10 also offers mirroring to Fire TV Stick through a similar method.

Learn about mirroring with ExpressVPN and Fire TV.

FAQ: Screen mirroring to TV

Why mirror to your TV?

What if casting from my device won’t work?

Want the full power of ExpressVPN?

If you would like to enjoy maximum flexibility and convenience in streaming video on your big-screen TV, consider getting ExpressVPN on your wireless router. With just a little extra setup, you can extend the protection and power of an always-on VPN to every Wi-Fi-enabled device in your network—even ones that can’t install a VPN directly, like PlayStation, Xbox, or other gaming consoles.

ExpressVPN is a VPN service not intended to be used as a means of copyright circumvention. Please read the ExpressVPN Terms of Service for more details.

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